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Emancipated Patients

It’s All Energy

need to write or ocd? By Patrick Neustatter, MD There’s this condition that I suffer from. So does my sister. Our great Aunt Henry had it bad. Likely all the people who contribute to this fine publication have it. Members of a newly formed group I’m part of, who have got together to confront it, are victims also. I refer to a compulsive desire, or perhaps need, to write. Not hypergraphia, that people with wacky neurological disorders, like temporal lobe epilepsy have. People who cannot stop themselves writing lists, poems, song lyrics, their name over and over. Sometimes drawing pictures. And on anything to hand – scraps of paper, envelopes, napkins, post it notes – often just an illegible scrawl (I’m tempted to throw in a joke here about all doctors must have hypergraphia) No. I am talking about people who have to write a diaries/poems/prose/letters. Or the new age way, a blog - though my impression is everyone is so busy writing blogs that no one has time to read them? Lament all those unseen, unloved words, drifting forlornly off to cyberspace. Group Therapy A few of us fellow sufferers have formed a writers group. An act of acceptance and acknowledgement rather than a 12 step program. Local psychologist Delise Dickard is a member. Despite having just completed a screenplay as her entry to some competition, when she should have been resting on her laurels, she was instead busily trying to organize past columns she had written. She, of all people, should be able to see how OCD* this was. But she defends with the argument that writing is a therapy, not an illness. “My mind is going to want to ruminate about things.. like I could totally ruminate about nuclear war” she told us. She sees substituting writing for ruminating as “like taking something dangerous from a baby and giving it a toy.”

All In The Family My sister, Angie, and brother in law Olly, are visiting, having stayed on after coming over from London for my daughters wedding. She is a freelance journalist, so has some justification for writing. When pinned down to tell me “why do you write?” we both agree, there’s an intellectual and artistic satisfaction in stringing together words to be as clear, concise and poetic as possible. But Angie also sounds a bit like a heroin addict at the stage where you keep doing it, not so much for the buzz it gives you when you do. But you feel so wretched if you don’t. Our great aunt, who wrote under the name of Henry (Handel Richardson) benefitted from her compulsion by becoming one of Australia’s better-respected authors (she and our grandma grew up in Australia). But there’s no question, she had a strong neurotic drive to write. Therapy As Delise insists we acknowledge, writing is a cross between neurosis and therapy. Studies with test subjects writing about past trauma, expressing their deepest thoughts and feelings, were compared with a control group writing as objectively and factually as possible about some extremely neutral topic – their plans for the day for example (maybe your plans are exciting and not neutral?). Writing about thoughts and feelings seems to improve psychological well being; it result in less visits to the doctor with stress related diseases; improves immune function; and benefits people with HIV, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. If you think you need therapizing, “write about your childhood memories, your relationships, your work life” recommend the experts. But you must use it to better understand and learn from your emotions, rather than just venting. And watch out. You may find yourself writing about the compulsion to write, as an expression of your writing compulsion. OCD = Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a form of neurosis where people compulsively perform tasks.

It’s always more fun in the Scenter of Town!

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July 2018

Front porch fredericksburg

Calm Cravings by christina ferber Summer is here, and like many beach and pool-goers (including me), you might be trying to shed a few pounds to look your best. Eden Energy Medicine can be used along with a healthy diet and exercise to help balance the body, so that it works as optimally as possible. Why not try a few of the following EEM techniques to help you out in the weight loss department? An oldie but a goodie, the Triple Warmer Smoothie does many things to calm the body, and it can also help us calm cravings and make an informed choice about our eating. Try this before grabbing that second piece of pie and see if it makes you think twice. Rest your face in your hands with your palms at your chin, and fingers at your temples. As you breathe in deeply lift your fingers a few inches above the ears. On an exhale, circle behind your ears and press down the sides of your neck to your shoulders. As you hang your hands on your shoulders, press in and breath for two breaths. Finally, drag your hands down to cover your heart and take a deep breath. Once we eat, we want what goes in our bodies to travel where it is needed and not stick around too long. Doing the Spleen Tap to aid a healthy metabolism can help move things along in a balanced way. Simply, tap the areas located on both sides of your body at the base of your ribs. Do this regularly at least ten seconds before and after you eat. Massaging the Spleen points under the ribcage can also help (see diagram). The Metabolic Tummy Breath does just what it says- aids our metabolism to work more efficiently. Breath in while sucking in your tummy as much as possible, until you can't take in any more air. Then take in three, very quick, tiny breaths. Finally exhale, still sucking in your tummy until you have no more air left to release. Breathe out with three more quick, tiny breaths. Do this regularly to help reset a sluggish metabolism. Aiding the digestive process is another way to help us on our road to a healthier body. Resetting the Ileocecal and Houston Valves is a quick and easy way to move things along. With your fingers inside of your hip bones near your pubic bone, drag them up about six to seven inches with firm pressure while inhaling. Repeat this motion for a total of four times. Then, place your thumbs at the bottom of your ribcage and drag them down toward the hip bone to complete the exercise. Working with the Large and Small Intestine Neurolymphatic Reflex Points can also help with digestion. Massage deeply along the outside and

It’s that kind of summer now when air sways with humidity like jello undulant on a dish, and heat-torrents rush forth to blur my eyes until I see a man descending a riverbank, who slogs out into the stream with his rod and reel in hand thigh-high pretending to fish, so every bystander looking on would never think it strange that he’s there to cool off, yet bluejays up in sycamores and shad neglecting the bait understand what he is doing!

Christina Ferber is a Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner. You can find out more at www.itsallenergywellness.com

ble at Availa n.com Amazo

Yoga’s confluence

- By Frank Fratoe

Cool Relief

inside of your thighs with pressure to activate these points (see diagram). Excess toxins can get our metabolism off balance, as well, and simply massaging the hands and feet is one way to help energy continue to move and not stick around. Drinking lots of water helps to move those toxins out, so be sure to stay hydrated. As always doing the five minute Daily Energy Routine, is a big helper in all departments and can keep your body functioning in a balanced way. View it and other exercises at www.itsallenergywellness.com.



Frank Fratoe lives & writes in the city. He has written poems from the heart for Front Porch for the past 10 years.

Sweetly kindred with grace, the Dragonfly Studio has undergone new transformations since it opened five years ago. Anne Kemp, the new owner, came upon an unforeseen opportunity amid her family’s new transitions. The timing could not be better for all the Yogi’s and families near and far. One of her students recently was heard saying: “This is the best hour of my whole week!” A year ago, Anne never dreamed she would be the owner of a yoga studio. In retrospect, and thanks to the power of a positive outlook, the opportunity appeared through the vapor of happenstance, without seeking it. Anne Kit returned from Germany and McFarland, the founder of Dragonfly was on her way to Germany. It was a “Who Knew” moment! And neither knew until they reconnected. Anne moved to Germany in the summer of 2015 with her husband, Jesse, an active duty Marine. Anne and Jesse made strides to know their adopted German home-town, Ostfildern. Committed to learning German, Anne said Jesse was fearless and learned to speak it by just doing it and she learned to read.

They became a team in motion. Anne found a Yoga studio in Germany, along with a kindred spirit, its owner Helena, bringing new meaning to her teaching and growth in yoga. Anne said Helena, her teacher and mentor, warmly greeted her in English after observing Anne’s challenges with the German language. After that, Anne quickly learned to take classes taught in German which proved to her that yoga is truly a universal language. Helena inspired Anne to challenge her own boundaries, including eventually asking her to teach a class in English. Fondly Anne said, “It led to some pretty funny ‘lost in translation’ moments but was immensely rewarding.” She acknowledged that, even though she was far from home, the German studio had given her a genuine sense of community. While Anne and her family thought they would be in Germany for three years, they were destined to return home to Virginia last summer. Anne quickly reconnected with the local yoga community, including at Dragonfly, thanks to her many years of teaching experience in Fredericksburg. Kit McFarland, Dragonfly’s founder, and Anne shared threads that weaved a way. While at lunch one day, Kit revealed her family’s plans to live in Germany. Kit was wondering what to do with Dragonfly and it was coincidence it came up in conversation. In this, Anne found the opportunity she never sought in her journey back to Virginia. Kit and Anne worked to make the transition of Dragonfly’s ownership a reality. Anne knew it was the right fit for her personally as she said: “Dragonfly is a fantastic studio with amazing instructors, many of whom I have been connected with for years.” Dragonfly’s mission of building relationships through yoga and giving back to the community is karma, so much like Anne’s experience in Germany and the reconnection she made with Kit through coming home early. Moving forward Anne will strive to enhance what she believes is already a good thing:

By Anne F. Hicks

Dragonfly is a place where people share a passion for quality yoga and build a strong sense of community through authentic relationships. Anne believes that yoga teachers who commit to a strong personal practice make better leaders of others. Thus, seeking to create a collaborative community of teachers, she has offered free classes to all area yoga teachers-intraining and reduced rate classes for Fredericksburg studio yoga instructors. Her decision to purchase Dragonfly also came with a personal commitment to continue the studio’s thriving community donation program. More exciting changes are also on the way. Work has begun on expanding and upgrading the studio’s spaces. The project includes building a new lobby with its own bathroom and changing rooms, enlarging and sound-proofing the main studio and creating separate entrances to the main studio and hot studio spaces. This upgrade will allow Dragonfly to further diversify its schedule while enhancing the experience of individual yoga classes. Look for a grand-opening of the expanded studio in September. Anne embodies the dragonfly symbol: change, adaptability, joy, and lightness. Maybe like a Dragonfly or a seed planted to grow our healthy lifestyle, Anne came home to us with her name’s meaning, Grace! Kit McFarland, the founder, did the same. Such a confluence is grace. Our community is our opportunity. Anne and Kit both are doing this service to Fredericksburg. Thank you, Kit McFarland, and Welcome, Anne Kemp. Anne works for the US Dept. of Veteran Affairs . She lives with her husband Tuffy, in FXBG

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July 2018


Profile for Virginia Grogan

Front Porch Fredericksburg - July 2018  

Front Porch Fredericksburg - July 2018